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Victims named as man dies and wife seriously injured in stabbing after funeral in Kerry

  • The horrific incident broke out near Rath Cemetery shortly before noon
  • Further disturbances were reported close University Hospital Kerry


Tom Dooley

Tom Dooley

Garda seal off area at Rath Cemetery, Tralee on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Mark O'Sullivan

Garda seal off area at Rath Cemetery, Tralee on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Mark O'Sullivan


Tom Dooley

A man has died and a woman suffered serious injuries after a violent incident following a funeral in Tralee, Co Kerry.

The incident, which involved several people, broke out in the vicinity of a funeral at Rath Cemetery shortly before noon with further disturbances subsequently reported near University Hospital Kerry (UHK).

A man in his 40s, named locally as Tom Dooley, died and the woman, his wife Siobhán, is receiving treatment for serious injuries.

It is understood gardaí are now seeking a younger male in connection with the incident close to Rath Cemetery at 12 noon.

Initial reports are that the deceased had suffered critical stab injuries following a confrontation between a group of men.

The alarm was raised and gardaí raced to the scene.

One man was discovered critically injured.

Despite desperate efforts by paramedics to stabilise the man's condition, it is understood he died before he could be transferred to nearby UHK.

Siobhán Dooley was seriously injured.

The area where the suspected stabbing occurred has been sealed off pending an examination by forensic experts from the Garda Technical Bureau.

It occurred in Tralee town just off the Casteisland Road and close to the UHK campus.


Garda seal off area at Rath Cemetery, Tralee on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Mark O'Sullivan

Garda seal off area at Rath Cemetery, Tralee on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Mark O'Sullivan

Garda seal off area at Rath Cemetery, Tralee on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Mark O'Sullivan

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A large garda presence has been maintained both at Rath Cemetery and at UHK.

Gardaí will also examine CCTV security camera footage from premises in the general Tralee area to determine movements to and from the area where the fatal assault is understood to have taken place.

The assistance of the State Pathologist's Office has been requested and a full post-mortem examination will now be conducted.

The second individual injured is understood to be in a serious condition and receiving emergency medical treatment at UHK.

It is understood the dead man is from the Cork area and was in north Kerry to attend the funeral of a young mother.

Gardaí are currently trying to determine who was in the area at the time of the violent assault.

Initial indications are that a large group of people may have been in the vicinity of the fatal assault at the time.

Locals politicians spoke of their horror that such an attack could happen at a cemetery.

Sinn Féin councillor Cathal Foley said: “It's barbaric what happened. People in Tralee and Kerry have great respect for funerals and graveyards. That graveyard is probably the biggest one in Kerry and for something like that to happen there is just beyond comprehension.

"It's a very busy graveyard. It's right beside the local hospital and the local county council offices, so it's a very built-up area.

"People who were at the graveyard or saw anything, make sure they contact the gardaí with any information they have. As I said it's busy, with lots of passing traffic and a very busy time of the day of course.”

Mayor of Tralee, Fianna Fáil Councillor Mikey Sheehy, said there is a "very sombre mood around the town".

"For this type of incident to happen anywhere is shocking but in your own town is one step, and then the next step is that it happened inside a graveyard," he said.

"That graveyard is our biggest burial ground in Tralee. It's a place where large volumes people go daily, obviously to visit loved ones that have passed away, but also as a place of reflection and as a place to walk. So, the fact that such a violent incident happened in an area of such high footfall is deeply shocking as well.

"These incidents are very isolated but that doesn't make it any less shocking. Thoughts have to be with the family at this very sad. It's a disturbing incident for any town or townland to have to come with."

Local Fine Gael Councillor Jim Finuance said people in the town are finding it difficult to come to terms with the tragedy.

"It's just very hard to comprehend. Tralee is certainly not used to anything like that, but everyone is blown out of the water with it. It's so sad and horrific," he said.

"A graveyard tends to be a place of peace and reflection and just to try and reconcile your mind with what happened after that is very hard to do."

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